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Leinster snatch dramatic late victory over Cardiff to get campaign off to perfect start on opening night of Pro14

Cardiff Blues 32 Leinster 33

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Joe Tomane of Leinster in action against Jarrod Evans, left, and Lloyd Williams of Cardiff Blues during the Guinness PRO14 Round 1 match between Cardiff Blues and Leinster at the BT Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales.

Joe Tomane of Leinster in action against Jarrod Evans, left, and Lloyd Williams of Cardiff Blues during the Guinness PRO14 Round 1 match between Cardiff Blues and Leinster at the BT Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales.

Joe Tomane of Leinster in action against Jarrod Evans, left, and Lloyd Williams of Cardiff Blues during the Guinness PRO14 Round 1 match between Cardiff Blues and Leinster at the BT Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales.

Leinster's 2018/19 season got off to the perfect start as Leo Cullen's men secured a dramatic late victory over Cardiff in an entertaining opener to the Pro14 season.

Bryan Byrne's two tries completed an impressive comeback from the visitors after they fell 15 points behind early in the second half thanks to two quick Cardiff tries.

Leinster were far from convincing and the defending champions looked second best for long periods in Wales as they were shorn the majority of their Irish international stars.

Tries from Jason Harries and Rey Lee-Lo shortly after the break gave the home side a commanding lead, but Leinster's winning mentality was evident as they slowly pulled back the deficit, hooker Bryan Byrne coming off the bench and touching down after a devastating Leinster maul.

Cardiff briefly extended their lead with a penalty from the boot of Jarrod Evans, but Leinster went back down the other end almost immediately, finding the converted try they needed as Bryan Byrne again touched down at the base of the posts, giving Byrne a simple conversion to put Leinster ahead for the first time in the half.

The home side had one last chance to attack but couldn't capitalise as they knocked on in the tackle, and replacement scrum-half Gibson-Park cleared deep into the stand to ensure Leinster escaped Wales with a vital win.

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